2017-04-06 / From The Garden

A Handy Garden Check-List

By Cynthia Gibson

If you took advantage of the mild days last month and weeded your garden, this handy check-list will help you feel like spring is truly here. . Start applying garden compost. If not adding plants to beds, you can mulch now if the beds are free of weeds. . The greenhouses, nurseries, and plant stores are starting to stock their latest offerings, including hardy winter shrubs. The new Chief Joseph golden lodge pine is a spectacular feature in any yard. . If you sowed seeds indoors, the plants should be germinating, so you can begin seedling division once the small plants are at least three inches tall. Remember, only one plant per pot. . Prune all brambles. If you have raspberry or blackberry plants, prune them back to two- to three-feet tall, and cut all the dead canes. . Remove all deadwood from perennials, trees, flowering shrubs, and privet. Push the existing branches of your privet back into shape if snow and ice has weighted down the limbs. . Leave your burlap protection on boxwood until mid-April. . Start fertilizing around specialty trees and fruit trees. . If you see sugar ants in the kitchen, use 20-Mule Team Borax and sprinkle it around the entire perimeter of the house. Ants are worse than spiders. A touch of warmth not only brings your plants to life, it also attracts unwanted insects. It is never too early to prepare. The prospects for the dreaded stink bug heading to Rhode Island this spring remains low. We have not had infestations yet, but they are slowly marching towards our island. However, the insect to look for this spring in trees and shrubs is the Gypsy moth, which can be killed only with insecticide. Expect the moths to return to trees as soon as warmer weather arrives.

It is time to plant the following plants outdoors:

Asparagus
Beets
Berry bushes, not strawberries
Broccoli
Carrots
Lettuce
Peas
Potatoes
Turnips
Fruit trees
Let the gardens begin!

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